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A Library of Ancient Inscriptions
The Yale University Press has announced the preparation by
Semitic scholars of a Series to be known as 'A Library of
Ancient Semitic Inscriptions' in transliteration and translation.
The tentative list of subjects and authors given below shows
that it will be distinctively an American enterprise. It is fully
expected that several of the volumes will appear in 1920.
North Semitic Inscriptions: C. C. Torrey, Yale Univ.
South Arabian Inscriptions: J. A. Montgomery, Univ. of Penn-
Sumerian and Akkadian Royal Inscriptions: G. A. Barton, Bryn
Inscriptions of Gudea: I. M. Price, Univ. of Chicago.
Babylonian Royal Inscriptions: T. J. Meek, Meadville Seminary.
Assyrian Historical Inscriptions (To Ashur-nirari) : D. D. Luck-
enbill, Univ. of Chicago.
Assyrian Historical Inscriptions (Tiglath-Pileser IV to Sennach-
erib) : A. T. Olmstead, Univ. of Illinois.
Assyrian Historical Inscriptions (Esarhaddon to end) : J.
Hoschander, Dropsie Coll.
Sumerian Hymns and Ritualistic Texts. Part 1 : J. D. Prince,
Sumerian Hymns and Ritualistic Texts. Part 2 -. M. Jastrow and
H. P. Lutz, Univ. of Pennsylvania.
Sumerian Cosmogony and Lamentation Texts: B. Chiera, Univ.
Gilgamesh Epic and Other Assyro-Babylonian Legends: P.
Haupt, Johns Hopkins Univ.
Tammuz and Ishtar Texts: W. P. Albright, Johns Hopkins Univ.
Omen and Astrological Texts: M. Jastrow, Univ. of Pennsylvania.
Incantation and Medical Texts: H. F. Lutz, Univ. of Pennsyl-
Babylonian Hymns and Prayers to the Gods: M. I. Hussey,
Mount Holyoke Coll.
Letters of the Early Babylonians: L. Waterman, Univ. of
284 Brief Notes
Amarna Letters: S. A. B. Mercer, "Western Theological Seminary.
Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Letters: S. C. Ylvisaker, Luther
Babylonian Boundary Stones, Charters and Grants: W. J. Hinke,
Sumerian Contracts: C. E. Keiser, Yale Univ.
First Dynasty Contracts: E. M. Grice, Yale Univ.
Assyrian Contracts: G. S. Duncan, American Univ.
Neo-Babylonian Contracts: R. P. Dougherty, Goucher Coll.
Contracts of the Persian and Greek Periods and Legal Codes:
A. T. Clay, Yale Univ.
Ascalabotes fascicularis in old Babylonian medicine
K 9283 is proof of old Babylonian applied zoology. It is a
fragment bearing the particular Babylonian writing of three
columns in mutilated condition. The reverse bears a few signs
of the third column. It resembles medieval European texts of
similar contents. The medieval texts mentioned principally in
this regard: mad dog, snake, gecko (stellio) and spider. The
spider is an evident substitute for the Babylonian scorpion. The
Babylonian superstitious texts deal much with the appearance
and locomotion of scorpions.
K 9283 contains in the first column remedies. The second
column tells of the venomous animals, against which they may be
useful. The third column gives the advice for application.
The lines 1 to 4 and 11 show the mad dog, the lines 5 to 11
the snake and 14 to 16 the scorpion. The lines 12 to 13 concern
evidently the gecko (Ascalabotes fascicularis). The cuneiform
sign is the Sumerian MIR. It is pronounced in Accadian lan-
guage: agu, ' crown, ' izzu, 'powerful' and agagu, 'to be angry.'
The animal may have been called igigu in Accadian and mir in
Sumerian. The classic Romans called it stellio. The medieval
language of southern Europe adopted the name gecko loaned
from the Arabians. Gecko is apparently a derivative of sup-
posed Accadian igigu. Igigu, i. e. the choleric animal, was a
very fitting name for this animal, which is very excitable and
is ready to fight with others of his species as well as with other
beings. The hurt of a gecko was called 'stroke of the gecko.'
This is exactly what the old Romans and medieval people
believed; the gecko was believed to be very venomous and able